It is almost as if in Sonnet 116 Shakespeare has attempted to define love, by stating what it is and what it isn’t. Shakespearian sonnets end in rhyming couplets, in Sonnet 116 Shakespeare states that if the statements made in his sonnet are false than “no man ever loved”. The speaker’s tone is self-assured and confident, but the audience/reader could react with uncertainty, as they could doubt his assertion that love can be classified. Structurally, the poems written by Shakespeare and Spenser are comparable, as
Therefore, despite the strong presence of the Catholic Church, Carpe Diem is one of the main themes in Renaissance literature, particularly in the sonnets, plays and poems. In Shakespeare’s famous sonnet 18, the well-known line “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” compares and praises his lover’s beauty to the imagery of summer in twelve lines. Interestingly, this sonnet is not directed towards his wife, Anne Hathaway, whom he didn’t seem to love since he left her his second best bed, but perhaps to
The final major similarity is the use of nature in the poems, specifically summer and fall seasons. The quote above shows the use of summer in sonnet 18 and the explanation of the changing leaves, and change in the sun’s appearance in the sky in sonnet 73 shows the usage of the seasons to aid his metaphor of age in his poetry. In Shakespeare's sonnet 18, the speaker starts by asking rhetorically, "Would it do justice to your beauty if I compared you to a summer's day?" Then he answers his own question by saying, "No, because you are more beautiful than that." Then the poem devotes several lines to detailing the ways in which the beauty of summer is not perfect and doesn't last.
In quatrain one he describes his loved one as “more lovely and more temperate” than a summer’s day, but the summer and the loved one is only temporary. In quatrain two he compares the sun setting as the declining beauty of man, whom is decaying over time. Yet, in quatrain three he states that decay can be avoided, if Shakespeare’s loved one is converted to poetry and becomes eternal with “eternal lines” of verse. Shakespeare uses symbolism to give the reader an illusion of eternal love. For example, in the couplet Shakespeare states, “So long as men can breath or eyes can see/So long lives this, and this gives life to thee,” meaning Shakespeare’s poem gives life and eternal love to his loved one.
He brought out new ideas about different issues; like the idea of immortalization of the beloved in both sonnets 18 and 60. In sonnet 18, Shakespeare treats the idea of immortality in a certain perspective in which he attempts to tell his readers about the power of love that continues even after the death of the beloved one, and that is through an eternal beautiful poem. The poet describes how a summer’s day can be so harsh, sometimes too hot, and certainly short comparing to an everlasting sweet love of a person who is more beautiful, full of serenity and harmony than a summer’s day. Unlike summer, the person being esteemed is much more superior and undoubtedly, the poet’s love towards this person is an everlasting feeling that would never wither or disappear. Through the course of summer, nature changes, but that will not be the case for his love, for; no matter what, and no matter how many decades pass by, that love will not be shaken.
Time is going to play an important role in the poem So we see that these poets both start by informing the reader that they will be discussing the idea of time and its effects. Shakespeare continues to say that summer does not last long enough. ‘And summer’s lease hath all too short a date’ He uses ‘summer’ as a metaphor for ‘life’ itself. By using the word ‘lease’ Shakespeare suggests that life is borrowed not owned: we still have a saying,’ living on borrowed time.’ Shakespeare however refuses to accept that summer comes again every year. With the metaphor of summer he is taking a very narrow view of time.
Spenser starts from an ordinary event that could happen in our daily lives. His poem is mainly the conversation between his lover and him, thus making his point through the dialogue. On the contrary, Shakespeare seems to be speaking to himself in a monologue, but also occasionally addressing his lover as well. Lastly, the moods of their poems are also different. Sonnet XVIII is more like a step-by-step argument; first saying that his lover looks more lovely than the already lovely summer, and then states that all natural beauty diminish no matter how great they once were.
Here we see the poet's use of "summer" as a metaphor for youth, or perhaps beauty, or perhaps the beauty of youth. But has the poet really abandoned the idea of encouraging the fair lord to have a child? Some scholars suggest that the "eternal lines" in line 12 have a double meaning: the fair lord's beauty can live on not only in the written lines of the poet's verse but also in the family lines of the fair lord's progeny. Such an interpretation would echo the sentiment of the preceding sonnet's closing couplet: "But were some child of yours alive that time / You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme." The use of "growest" also implies an increasing or changing: we can envision the fair lord's family lines growing over time, yet this image is not as readily applicable to the lines of the poet's verse - unless it refers only to his intention to
The speaker of the poem opens with the question that is addressed to the beloved, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" This question is comparing him to the summer time of the year. In the following eleven lines the poet compares his friend with summer days. In lines 2 and 3 the speaker explains what mainly separates his friend from the summer's day: he is "more lovely and more temperate." (l. 2) So that the speaker claims that the
While the words reminds us of a contract by which a person allows another to use his property for a certain time, we can clearly see the poet is comparing summer to having a contract and the period for which the property is leased is far too short. This gives us an indication of how the poet feels: like summer, his patron's life was also far too short. Second Quatrain The poet now describes the sun, the "eye of the heaven" with its "golden complexion". It is dazzling and brilliant. It provides light and heat, but on a cloudy day, the sun is dimmed, and its light and heat cannot penetrate through the clouds.
Sonnet 18 is arguably the most famous of the sonnets, its opening line competitive with "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" in the long list of Shakespeare's quotable quotations. The gender of the addressee is not explicit, but this is the first sonnet after the so-called "procreation sonnets" (sonnets 1-17), i.e., it apparently marks the place where the poet has abandoned his earlier push to persuade the fair lord to have a child. The first two quatrains focus on the fair lord's beauty: the poet attempts to compare it to a summer's day, but shows that there can be no such comparison, since the fair lord's timeless beauty far surpasses that of the fleeting, inconstant season. On the surface, the poem is simply a statement of praise about the beauty of the beloved; summer tends to unpleasant extremes of windiness and heat, but the beloved is always mild and temperate.
The sonnet is subdivided into three quatrains containing cross-rhyme and a rhyming heroic couplet. Shakespeare used the Elizabethan sonnet to emphasize the couplet as a turning point. In the first quatrain, the speaker compares his beloved to a summer’s day, then goes on listing reasons why summer is not all that great. The lyrical I starts of with a rhetorical question (V. 1) which is not meant to be answered but meant to get the reader thinking. With this stylistic device he wants to introduce the reader to the topic.
As it was mentioned earlier, we cannot be sure if the sonnets are in a correct order (or if there was any) and scholars are divided. Some claim that is addressed to a young man, some disagree and say that it was written to a lady, there are also voices that Sonnet 18 belongs to works which consider the passage of time. Anyway, despite unclear meaning, this poem of Shakespeare is a magnificent work. Beginning with the rhetorical question, persona considers possibility of comparing mysterious 'thee' to a summer's day. This comparison gives a background for the further description of beloved one, an extended metaphor, because persona knows that it is not a good idea.
.Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets Readers would find, that in comparing and contrasting two of William Shakespeare’s famous 1609 sonnets: “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” and “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun,” one would find that both sonnets express his sincere affections in a delightful manner most readers would enjoy; however, most readers would find “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun” more enjoyable. Both Shakespearean sonnets allude to the theme of love and beauty through use of metaphors to nature. Shakespeare’s conventional Shakespearean sonnet “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” is an ode, which uses a sincere tone which alludes to the mortality of his subjects’ beauty. In contrast, another sonnet of his, “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun” is another ode, of which uses a mocking tone, parodying the conventional style of love sonnets. In this sonnet, he describes his mistress as flawed, but in the last lines of the sonnet, he declares that he loves her regardless of these flaws.
Sonnet XVIII (18) Addressed to the Young Man Quatrain 1 (four-line stanza) A Shall I compare thee to a summer's DAY? | If I compared you to a summer day | B Thou art more lovely and more temperATE: | I'd have to say you are more beautiful and serene: | A Rough winds do shake the darling buds of MAY, | By comparison, summer is rough on budding life, | B And summer's lease hath all too short a DATE: | And doesn't last long either: | Comment: In Shakespeare's time, May (Line 3) was considered a summer month. Quatrain 2 (four-line stanza) C Sometime too hot the eye of heaven SHINES, | At times the summer sun [heaven's eye] is too hot, | D And often is his gold complexion DIMM'D; | And at other times clouds dim its brilliance; | C And every fair from fair sometime deCLINES, | Everything fair in nature becomes less fair from time to time, | D By chance or nature's changing course unTRIMM'D; | No one can change [trim] nature or chance; | Comment:"Every fair" may also refer to every fair woman, who "declines" because of aging or bodily changes. Quatrain 3 (four-line stanza) E But thy eternal summer shall not FADE | However, you yourself will not fade | F Nor lose possession of that fair thou OWEST; | Nor lose ownership of your fairness; | E Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his SHADE, | Not even death will claim you, | F When in eternal lines to time thou GROWEST: | Because these lines I write will immortalize you: | Couplet (two rhyming lines) G So long as men can breathe or
The sonnets first line is a rhetorical question comparing his beloved “to a Summers day“. The following lines then go on to argue that the beloved is better until line nine when the tone of the sonnet changes again. Here the beloved is transformed into Summer itself. This was hinted at in line two “temperate” and line six “complexion”. Signs of good health in Shakespeare’s time.
For him, the young man’s beauty is a timeless beauty that far surpasses that of the fleeting, inconstant summer season. Indeed, the third and fourth lines of the first quatrain illustrate how summer is just a season that “hath all too short a date”, that will come to an end. Hence, the opposition Shakespeare establishes between his beloved and the summer’s day implies that, although summer is ephemeral, his love and the young man’s beauty will transcend and will be eternal. The sonnet presents summer as a season of extremes and disappointments. Indeed, there is a very powerful imagery within this sonnet presenting elements supporting the negative view of summer as a season of extremes.
One is tempted to assume that this leads up to a conclusion that also deals with the comparison between the summer and the man's beauty. But soon the man becomes a force of nature himself. the sonnet takes a shift in attention from line 9 onwards, and ends up with a surprising conclusion. In line 9 it is actually a bit unclear whether Shakespeare is still comparing his loved one to the summer. He does state that “thy eternal summer shall not fade,” the man suddenly embodies summer.
These sonnets usually support the methodical consideration of an argument or idea, which is then cleverly demonstrated or summed up in some way in the final couplet. In this sonnet it describes a young man being compared to a summer’s day, although, this sonnet does not following his known Shakespearean sonnet form. The final couplet is pulls us in to new path by saying poetry is immortal. This sonnet theme is based upon Shakespeare’s beloved friend, a young man, being compared to a summer’s day, also emphasizing on how his beloved’s beauty shall be forever remembered in the sonnet as his poetry will too. The passages have metaphorical references all throughout, the first line bring us “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”(A Portable Anthology, 2009, p.465) meaning in our modern language “Shall I compare you to a summer’s day?” as well as line 12 “When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:” (A Portable
* In the first quatrain Shakespeare begins his comparison between the beloved one and nature by comparing the beloved one to a summer’s day. * Shakespeare then finds that the beauty and power of nature cannot be compared with the beauty and power of the beloved one. * The youth is more perfect than the beauty of a summer’s day. * He uses his poem as a way to